Mimic's Return
written by Tabby
with help from Mimic

"Tex, remember me?"

Tex glanced over the customer he was serving at the counter to see who had just entered, and his eyes opened wide in shock when he did. "Mimic?" he gasped.

"That's right." The lime-colored unicorn slid up to the counter and leaned up against it. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

"Uh, well, yeah, it has," Tex stuttered.

"So, is this salsa shop what you're running nowadays?" Mimic purred.

"What... what're you doing here, Mimic?" Tex managed to say.

"Oh, I'm thinking of moving back," Mimic giggled.

His original customer was growing impatient, so Tex scurried to attend to ringing up his order, keeping his eye on Mimic all the time. "There you, uh, go. Thanks for... coming." Then, with the shop empty, he went back to his conversation.

"Moving back?" he repeated.

"Uh-huh," Mimic affirmed. "Maybe we can get to know each other again, hmm?"

"Well, yeah, maybe. Mimic! I just can't believe it's really you," Tex shook his head in amazement.

"We had some good times back then, didn't we?" Mimic smiled.

"Good times, yeah," Tex nodded. "You're... you're really coming back, Mimic?"

Mimic had held a special place in Tex's heart during their high school days-- he had even forgotten about Tabby to date Mimic. They'd grown apart, however, and Tex hadn't heard any more from her-- until today.

"Yes, yes, I'm really back! Doing anything in particular tonight?" Mimic prodded.

"Anything in particular? Well, no, not really."

"How about taking me to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe?" Mimic suggested. "For old time's sake."

"For old time's sake," Tex echoed. "Sure, why not?"

"I knew that's what you'd say," Mimic said happily. "When do you get done working here? We can go over right after that."

"Oh... let's see... about five-thirty," Tex murmured.

"Splendid!" Mimic exclaimed. "That's only an hour away. Mind if I just hang around here ‘till then?"

"No, no, make yourself to home," Tex said quickly. "That'd be... nice."

Mimic promptly seated herself at the counter and smiled to herself as some ponies entered the shop. It didn't look like it'd be that hard to win Tex back.

* * *

Tamara waited impatiently at home for Tex to pick her up for their date at the Estate Manor. It was ten minutes past six, and he was supposed to have arrived at five-thirty. It wasn't like him to be half an hour late.

"O-o-oh, I wish he'd at least call if he's hung up somewhere!" Tamara said in exasperation.

"What's that, Tammy?" Tabby, who had invited herself over to her cousin's house that afternoon, questioned as she breezed through the room just then.

"Tex is half an hour late for our date at the Estate Manor!" Tamara wailed, pacing back and forth.

"Oh, is that all?" Tabby continued on down the hallway. She had naturally made herself to home.

"Tabitha! This is important!" Tamara sighed. "What could be keeping him?"

"For Pete's sake! Just relax for a second, would you?" Tabby peeked back in the room. "He probably just forgot and he's going to meet you at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe like usual."

Tamara's face brightened. "Do you really think that's it?"

"Trust me, Tamara. It'd be just like him to forget."

"Then we'd better get over there right away!" Tamara scrambled up from her seat on the couch.

"You can go on your own," Tabby contradicted. "I've got other things to do tonight. Goodbye!" Without another word, she had darted out the door and was on her way.

Tamara hurriedly grabbed her purse and dashed out the door as well. She had to admit that Tabby's theory did make sense. But hopefully he wouldn't be mad at her for being late now!

Upon arriving at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, Tamara anxiously peered around at the tables before ordering anything. She sighed with relief as she spotted him at one of their favorite tables in the back. She waved in an attempt to get his attention before getting in line... but it was then that she noticed that he wasn't alone at the table.

Tamara's heart stood still for a moment as she saw the lime-green unicorn sitting across from Tex. Her face immediately clouded over as she stepped out of line and stormed off towards the two.

Tex and Mimic were in deep conversation, and didn't notice the approaching pony. Tamara set her front hooves down on the table. "Tex, what's going on here?" she asked sharply.

Tex looked up abruptly and appeared utterly surprised to see Tamara there. "Oh, Tamara, hi!"

"Tex, do you happen to remember anything about a date at the Estate Manor tonight?" Tamara snapped.

"The Estate Manor?" A confused look crossed Tex's face. "Why, were we going there?"

"Yes, we were," Tamara fumed. "But I see that you found something better to do."

"Tex, I don't believe you told me about this friend of yours yet," Mimic purred. "She looks quite a bit like Tabby, actually."

"Oh." Tex straightened up. "Mimic, this is my friend Tamara. And Tamara, this is one of my old friends from high school, Mimic."

"Tamara?" Mimic cocked her eye. "What, did you change your name, Tabby?"

"I still don't think that explains our forgotten date, Tex," Tamara steamed, ignoring Mimic for the moment.

"I'm really sorry about that, Tamara," Tex apologized. "It's just that I saw Mimic in town today for the first time in years, and I wanted to catch up on old times."

"That's right," Mimic nodded. "Old times."

"Well, have fun discussing your ‘old times'," Tamara snarled, "because you sure aren't going to be discussing anything with me from now on." She abruptly turned from the table.

"Tamara, wait!" Tex called her back.

"Why should I?"

"Pull up a chair and join us," Tex invited. "I really didn't mean anything by it."

"We have lots of exciting stories to share with you," Mimic added. "Especially why you changed your mind about Tex, Tabby. The last I knew, you two were arch-rivals."

Tamara grudgingly pulled up another chair. She wanted to at least find out more about this Mimic before storming out of the shop. "For your information, I am not Tabby," Tamara said snobbishly. "I'm her cousin, and my name is Tamara."

"Oh? Tabby never mentioned an identical cousin."

"We're not identical. We have different eye colors."

Mimic peered into Tamara's yellow eyes. "Hmm. You're right. Tabby's eyes were purple, weren't they?"

"That's enough about me." Tamara switched her attention to Tex. "So, Tex, just how good of friends are you and Mimic?"

"Pretty good, actually," Mimic giggled. "We've been catching up on a lot this afternoon."

"That's so... nice," Tamara said in mock-politeness. "I'm sure you're having a blast with her, Tex."

"It's nice finding an old friend," was all Tex would say.

"Oh, I think we'll become much more than that, Tex," Mimic said, batting her eyelashes. "So, Tamara, Tabby's your cousin, is she? What's she up to these days?"

"I wouldn't really know," Tamara mumbled, not wanting to say any more than she had to.

"I see that there's some other old acquaintances I'll have to look up," Mimic commented. "But, as it is, it's getting late... I think I'll just be heading back to the hotel now."

"I'll walk you there," Tex offered immediately, jumping up.

"How nice of you," Mimic smiled.

"Certainly, Tex. Just go on your way," Tamara snapped. "What do I care?"

"You don't have to act so bitter against Mimic. She's just a friend," Tex mumbled. "Come on, Mimic." The two turned to leave.

Tamara stood and watched them go. " ‘Just a friend', eh? Well, Mimic, I'm not giving up that easily." She sensed that there was trouble brewing ahead.

* * *

"Oh, no," Tabby gasped as she looked out her door the next morning. "It can't be."

"Hello, Tabby!" Mimic, who stood on Tabby's front porch, called out cheerfully. "Long time no see, huh?"

"What're you doing here, Mimic?" Tabby took a step back.

"Coming back to my home town. Is there anything wrong with that?"

"No, but... why're you talking to me?"

"You're an old acquaintance, Tabby! And I ran into your cousin last night."

"Oh? She didn't say anything about that."

"Of course, she wasn't too happy that I was at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe with Tex," Mimic grinned deviously.

"No, I wouldn't think she would be," Tabby agreed.

"Sure, Tex may be seeing her now, but that won't last long," Mimic continued. "He's still mine."

"I could care less about who Tex ends up with," Tabby snarled, attempting to get a hoof out the door. "And now, if you'll let me, I have to get to work."

"So you actually have a job?" Mimic said curiously. "I didn't think you'd ever make it that far. What place was desperate enough to hire you?"

"I'm the nurse at the Pokèmon Center, if you must know," Tabby snapped, securely locking the door and stepping outside.

"Pokèmon?" Mimic wrinkled her nose. "Ugh! I should have known you'd end up with something like that."

"What, you've got something against Pokèmon, too?" Tabby glanced at Mimic.

"Pokèmon are for toddlers, Tabby," Mimic rolled he eyes.

"Toddlers?" Tabby's eyes opened wide with rage. "What's that supposed to mean?"

Mimic shrugged. "Baby ponies, you know. That's the only age group Pokèmon are for."

"For your information, Mimic," Tabby fumed, "Pokèmon are not for toddlers. It's mostly only the adults that train them around here."

"And still wasting your time collecting toys?" Mimic prodded.

Tabby turned and looked back at Mimic venomously. "ARGH! Mimic, just leave me alone! You've done nothing but insult me since you first met me in school! Annoy Tamara if you must, but not me!" Boiling with rage, Tabby fled down the street, leaving Mimic as far behind as she could.

Upon arriving at the Pokèmon Center, Tabby collapsed behind her desk. From past experiences, she knew that Mimic would bring no good with her.

* * *

The next morning, just as Tamara was sitting down to breakfast, her doorbell rang. She knew of only one person who would call at anyone's house this early in the day.

"The mysterious cloaked flower deliverer!" Tamara gasped upon opening the door.

The cloaked figure held out a tissue-wrapped bouquet and said simply, "Delivery for you." And then he was off.

Tamara excitedly walked back inside while unwrapping the bouquet. To her delight, a wonderful bunch of red roses was revealed. "From Tex?" she said aloud upon reading the attached card. "He really does still care!"

The message from Tex continued on to say that he was "really sorry" about how he acted last night and if he could still make it up to Tamara, he'd take her to the Estate Manor that evening.

"Mimic, if you think you're in the lead, you're dead wrong," Tamara said smugly, going to her phone to get in touch with Tex.

* * *

Tex seemed back to normal when he arrived to pick Tamara up that evening, and Tamara was elated. Mimic had obviously just been a passing thing; Tex would completely forget his old friend now.

At least, that's what Tamara thought until they were seated at the Estate Manor. After Tamara decided on her order, she noticed that Tex was staring intently at something across the room. "Tex? Is something wrong?" she queried.

"Oh, no, nothing," Tex mumbled, dropping his gaze back onto their table.

Tamara shrugged. "Well, how was business at the shop today?"

"The shop? Oh, uh... good," Tex said distantly.

Tamara clenched her jaw. Tex certainly didn't seem to be in the conversing mood tonight. She tried again. "Have you thought of expanding the shop yet?"

Tex was silent. Tamara looked over at him again in annoyance. As before, he was staring off at the opposite wall. Frowning, Tamara turned herself to find out what had so absorbed Tex. It greatly disturbed her to see a certain lime green unicorn seated alone at a small table on the far wall.

"Tex?" Tamara prodded.

"Oh! Did you say something?"

Tamara shook her head. Obviously Mimic was not out of the picture yet. "Don't you think my new necklace looks stunning?" she tried.

"Stunning. Of course," Tex murmured, twirling his fork around his plate.

"I think a diamond ring would complement it nicely. Don't you?"

"A ring? You'll have to check the... jewelry store."

Tamara swiveled around in her seat again. She hoped that Mimic would finish up at the restaurant soon, but her rival was still sitting there.

Even after Mimic did leave (she obviously hadn't seen Tex and Tamara), it didn't help Tex's thought pattern any. He was still extremely withdrawn, and Tamara couldn't get a bit of intelligent conversation out of him.

Mimic, I'll get you yet, Tamara muttered.

* * *

Meanwhile, Mimic realized that it would be easy enough to win Tex back from Tamara. She still had that same mesmerizing effect on him. However, it couldn't hurt to speed up the process. She decided to put in another visit to her old friend, Tabby.

That Saturday afternoon, Tabby was horrified a second time to spot Mimic on her front porch. With Tamara moved out now and Tarquin away with Tess for the day, she was all alone against Mimic. It was only curiosity that compelled her to open the door.

"Tabby," Mimic said briskly upon being admitted into the house, "I need your help."

"Oh?" Tabby cocked an eyebrow cautiously. "As in what?"

"I'm looking to dig up some personal information about your cousin Tamara," Mimic explained. "You're aware of the situation, I'm sure."

Tabby indeed was well aware of the situation, as Tamara had done nothing but rant to her about it for the last few days. "Personal information? What's in it for me?"

"You'll just be better off if you do," Mimic said simply.

Tabby thought over her options. She still had a little family loyalty, and would rather be on her cousin's side than the side of this... this acquaintance from high-school. Of course, she still didn't really think much of Tex and didn't see what Tamara saw in him-- even if Tabby had forgiven him for the worm incident, she still didn't particularly want him on her family tree. And if she helped Mimic just a little...

"What kind of personal information?" Tabby prodded.

"Just something that can be used against her and spread around as a rumor. You must know something like that about your own cousin."

"Well... well... no, not really."

"You don't?"

"I mean, I never liked her as a kid and never tried to find out more about her than I had to, and she's only been in Dream Valley for the past year..."

"Come on, there has to be something you can dredge up."

"Well... there might be one thing," Tabby paused. "Tamara doesn't really like Tex's salsa."

"Really?" Mimic perked up in interest.

"Right," Tabby nodded. "In fact, the jar of it he gave to her on our birthday she secretly gave to Clever Clover in turn."

"Is that so?" Mimic grinned. "Well, I must admit that you were more cooperative than I thought you would be."

"Will you kindly leave now?" Tabby snarled. "I don't want to get involved in this any more."

"Still as touchy as before, aren't you?" Mimic laughed. "It was always so much fun picking on you."


"Alright, I'm going!" Mimic turned to leave. "But just remember, Tex is mine, okay?"

"That's fine with me," was all Tabby said after Mimic had closed the door.

* * *

"Tamara, is it true that you don't really like Tex's salsa?"

Tamara looked up abruptly at Tiffany's remark. "What do you mean, I don't like Tex's salsa?"

Tiffany set her purse up on the counter of the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. "That's what I've been hearing today."

Tamara gulped as she waited for Scoops to fill her order. "Well, that's just silly," she retorted.

"But everyone's talking about it," Tiffany persisted. "There must be some truth behind it."

"Everybody?" Tamara's eyes opened wide.

"Really, I wouldn't hold it against you," Tiffany chattered on. "I just don't know how Tex'll hold up to it. He's very proud of his salsa blend, you know."

"Exactly! And I don't have anything against it!" Tamara bluffed. "Whatever rumor this is, it's not true!"

"Tamara?" Scoops' voice pierced into Tamara's mind. "Here's your sundae. That'll be three jangles."

"We'll talk more later," Tamara dismissed herself from her friend, and scurried off to find a table with a good vantage point. She had to be alerted as soon as Tex came in.

A million thoughts ran through her head. She couldn't figure it out. Maybe it was true that she really didn't like Tex's salsa... but she kept that an extremely guarded secret; not even her best friend Tiffany knew. She never wanted Tex to find out, lest he look down upon her for it. And that was hardly what she needed now with Mimic on the scene.

But how had word about it gotten out? Tamara thought back. Could it be Clever Clover? He had been the one to whom she had given away her jar of salsa, which had been a birthday present from Tex. He didn't seem like the rumor-spreading type, but it may have leaked out accidentally.

Of course, maybe Tiffany had exaggerated over the fact of "everyone" knowing. She was known to do that at times. Tamara hoped that Tex hadn't heard anything about it yet. But if he had... well, certainly he had more sense than to get upset at her for it.

At least Tiffany doesn't seem too concerned with it now, Tamara thought to herself in relief. The princess was currently batting her eyelashes and giggling frequently as she conversed with some of the stallions working at the coffee shop section of the ice cream parlor.

But it was then that Tex walked in.

Tamara instantly jumped up from her seat and attempted to look natural as she strolled up to Tex. "Hello there," she purred.

"Tamara." Tex looked at her wide-eyed. "You don't like my salsa."

Tamara's face fell. He had heard. "Now, Tex, that's not what I meant at all," she tried to justify herself.

"You could have told me instead of leading me on like this," Tex said.

"But Tex!" Tamara protested. "It's not that I don't approve of your shop..."

"You just don't like what it sells," Tex said accusingly.

Tamara sighed. "I might not particularly care for salsa, but that doesn't mean I dislike you for it."

"Well, you still pretended to like it when you didn't."

"But... but..." Tamara thought quickly. "Oh, Tex! The only reason I pretended is because I wanted so badly for you to like me."

"Really?" Tex asked hopefully.

Tamara turned her head away and hoped that her sniffle sounded authentic. "I just thought that... that... you'd look down upon me if you knew."

"Oh, Tamara!" Tex put his front leg around Tamara's shoulders. "You didn't have to pretend. I would have understood."

Tamara gazed adoringly up into his eyes. She had been forgiven. It was at that moment that her reverie was shattered, however.

"Hello, Tex. Hello, Tamara," came Mimic's voice. "I thought I'd find you here!"

"Mimic!" Tex immediately pushed Tamara away and dashed over to greet his old friend. "I'd been hoping I'd catch you here!"

Tamara scowled as the two went into a deep conversation. Tex led Mimic off to a table, completely forgetting Tamara. Mimic smirked at Tamara as they went by.

"Why, you little..." Tamara seethed to herself. Of course it had been Mimic who had started the salsa rumor. How she had found out that fact wasn't important; what was important was finding the proper retaliation.

* * *

"So you want me to dig up something on Mimic's past that'll hurt her reputation now?"

"Exactly," Tamara nodded.

Tabby had not been too surprised by her cousin's request; actually, she had been expecting it. She decided she'd help Tamara out, too. She didn't know who to root for, and it would be interesting to get the inside story on the current happenings in the situation if she played on both sides.

"Well? Can you remember anything?" Tamara prodded.

"Yeah, but I'm just trying to figure out which one would work best," Tabby said contemplatively.

"She's just an... an... obnoxious worm!" Tamara hissed.

"That was always one of her favorite transformations," Tabby nodded.


"Oh, that's her unicorn magic. She can change into anything. She liked being a worm."

"It suits her," Tamara huffed.

"Now, there was the time she was dating Slugger at the same time she was seeing Tex," Tabby said after a pause. "Tex never found out."

"Really?" Tamara's eyes opened wide at the prospect. "What happened to Slugger?"

"Oh, Mimic dumped him not too long after that," Tabby recalled. "I think."

"That will work perfectly," Tamara grinned fiendishly. "Mind if I put in a call to Tiffany right now?" Tex would never forgive her for doing something like that! she thought jubilantly.

"Sure, why not? Spread all the rumors you want."

Tamara motioned her cousin to be quiet as she let the phone ring. "Tiffany! How are you today? Do you know about that Mimic that's back in town? Well, did you hear that she..."

* * *

"Hey, Love Token!" Snowdrop greeted her friend as they ran into each other at the salsa shop the next day.

"Snowdrop, hello!" Love Token acknowledged. "I didn't know you did much shopping here."

"Oh, I don't usually, but..." Snowdrop lowered her voice. "I wanted to stop by and see if I could find out anything more about what I've been hearing."

"What? Something about the salsa shop?" Love Token's ears perked up.

Snowdrop nodded and continued in a hushed voice. "You know Tex's new girlfriend? The one with the parrot symbol?"

Love Token nodded. "What about her?"

"I heard that she's already married to another guy! He's a big-name baseball player."

"Really?" Love Token gasped. "And Tex doesn't know?"

"I'm not sure yet. That's why I came in here."

"Wow." Love Token gazed over at the counter, where Tex was attending to customers as usual. "The poor guy. He'll be devastated when he finds out."

As was usual with gossip, this rumor had already gotten out of proportion, much to Tamara's delight. The way the news about Mimic and Slugger was going, Tex would never want to lay eyes on his "old friend" again.

Tex, as of yet, was oblivious to all the talk about him, however. That is, until Love Token came up to him to pay for a purchase.

"I'm just so sorry about Mimic and all," Love Token murmured, setting her bottle of salsa on the counter.

"Mimic?" Tex asked anxiously. "What happened to her? Is it serious? Is she okay?"

Love Token just smiled sympathetically. "I know how you must feel. Finding out all of a sudden that she's already married to Slugger..."

"Married?" Tex echoed. His heart dropped, and his face turned pale. In a state of shock, he rang up Love Token' purchase. Mimic couldn't be married... she wouldn't do anything like that...

Love Token paid for her salsa and made a quick exit, seeing that Mimic had just strolled in the building. The lime green unicorn walked boldly up to the counter. "Hi, Tex," she said cheerfully.

"Mimic..." Tex just stared at her blankly.

Mimic giggled. "What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost."

"So you're married already, huh?" Tex sighed.

Mimic looked taken aback. "Me? Married?" she said in surprise. "However did you get that notion in your head?"

"But... Love Token said you were..." Tex trailed off.

"Oh!" Mimic recalled. "Is it that silly rumor about me and Slugger?"

"Yeah, I guess so," Tex shrugged.

"Well, it's not true," Mimic said firmly. "I haven't seen nor thought about Slugger in years."

"But you did at one point?" Tex said accusingly.

"Well, maybe I did sorta like him, for a little while," Mimic admitted. "But that was a long time ago!"

"Oh..." Tex still looked unconvinced.

"I was young and foolish back then, Tex!" Mimic pleaded, looking him straight in the eye. "I'm different now. I'm not sneaking around behind your back."

"Oh, Mimic!" Tex reached across the counter and drew Mimic in close to him.

"Oh, Tex!" Mimic melted in his embrace. "I knew you'd understand."

It was only when Tex made the move to tenderly kiss Mimic when Tamara decided to drop in. "Am I interrupting something?" the pink unicorn said curtly.

"Tamara..." Tex looked at Mimic uncomfortably.

Mimic only smiled smugly. "How nice of you to drop in, Tamara."

"I guess I'll be on my way," Tamara said coolly, turning to leave. "I suppose our date for later is off."

"Wait!" Tex said pleadingly, pulling away from Mimic after a moment's hesitation. "Tamara, don't go!"

Tamara glanced stonily back at him. "It doesn't look like you have a need for me any more."

"You're both good friends of mine," Tex defended himself.

Since when did I go from girlfriend to a "good friend"? Tamara fumed to herself.

"Tex, I think I'd better go now so you can patch things up with Tamara here," Mimic offered. "Don't forget our date tonight."

With Mimic out the door, Tamara turned her full attention to Tex. Tex just stared downwards and avoided eye contact.

"I guess it slipped your mind again that you were meeting me," Tamara snapped.

"I didn't mean to," Tex mumbled.

"Tex, look at yourself! You act like a mindless zombie whenever Mimic is around."

"She's an old friend, Tamara."

"I'm sick of that line, Tex! Get a grip on yourself!"

"Tamara, please don't be upset."

It was that line from Tex that melted Tamara's heart. "Alright," she said softly. "I understand. You need some time with Mimic; that's all."

"Right. I guess." Tex continued to stare down at the counter as he fumbled with the drawer of his antique cash register.

"You know," Tamara said, coming over to inspect the out-of-date model, "you should really get a modern computer system for this place."

"This one was cheap," Tex shrugged. "I picked it up at a garage sale."

"Still, it would make the running of your shop easier with a new model," Tamara suggested. Well, he'll at least see that I care about his business even if I don't like his salsa, she reflected.

"I've just never felt like taking the money out for one," Tex said.

"Oh?" Tamara began to get the inkling of an idea. "Well... what if..."

"What?" Tex asked curiously.

"I'll tell you what, Tex," Tamara offered. "I'll buy you a new system."

"Tamara! You don't have to do that!" Tex protested.

"I want to," Tamara said solemnly as their gaze met. "For the good of the salsa shop."

Tex nodded in surprise. "Alright. That's really nice of you."

Tamara felt that she had made some headway in winning Tex back. "Well, I guess I'll get out of here now," she said cheerfully. "You'll have to get ready for your meeting with Mimic."

"Yeah, Tamara," Tex said, still a little shocked. "Bye."

* * *

Tamara was feeling extremely positive by the next morning. She had already called around to several manufacturers, and had placed an order for a new cash register she felt confident that Tex would be at ease with. She thought she'd drop in at his house to tell him about it.

She rang his doorbell and waited impatiently. Tex was usually prompt at answering the door, but something was delaying him this time. She paused and listened closely. She could hear the conversing of voices inside. He must have company. Company that could only be...

"M-Mimic," Tamara stuttered when her rival opened the door. "That is-- that is-- I wasn't expecting to see you," she corrected herself.

"Oh," Mimic laughed, "I just dropped in on Tex earlier. We've been talking about old times."

"Yes, where is he..." Tamara trailed off, searching the area behind Mimic.

"Right here, Tamara," Tex said cheerfully, coming up behind Mimic. "We've just been playing with Emilio. He sure does like Mimic."

Tamara grew a little weak in the knees at the sight of the hairy tarantula that was perched on Tex's back. "Oh... that's... nice..." she managed to say. She had always been squeamish of spiders, and had been glad that Tex had never enforced her in getting to know his specimen of the species.

"He's just such a sweet little thing," Mimic cooed, reaching for Emilio herself. "Here, Tamara, pet him." She held the tarantula out towards Tamara.

Tamara let out an involuntary shriek and tripped down off Tex's porch steps. "That's... I'm... just... not..." she said nervously. She had learned to control herself around Emilio, but not when he was shoved at her without warning.

"You're scared of him?" Tex's face fell noticeably as he looked on at Tamara's reaction.

"Aw, his feelings are hurt now," Mimic said, stroking the fuzzy spider.

"He just... took me by surprise," Tamara laughed tensely.

"You never told me you didn't like Emilio, either," Tex said sorrowfully, pushing past Mimic to confront Tamara.

"Well... it's just a natural phobia," Tamara defended herself. "I try to get along with him. I do!"

"You could have at least told me," Tex sighed. "Mimic, will you go put him back in his cage?"

Mimic nodded and ducked back into the house with Emilio. Tamara continued to attempt to convince Tex of her innocence. "I never meant to lie to you," she pleaded. "I'm just not comfortable around spiders."

Tex shook his head. "You've explained yourself, Tamara. No need to go on."

"Oh... okay," Tamara breathed a sigh of relief.

"Why not come inside?" Tex invited. "Mimic and I were just starting a game of Monopoly. You can join us."

"That would be fun," Tamara smiled, allowing Tex to lead her back up the steps. "I think that would be very fun."

* * *

It was several hours later when Tamara and Mimic both excused themselves from Tex's house. Though the two hadn't gotten into any skirmishes per se, their resentment of each other had been clearly radiating throughout the day. When Tamara announced that she was leaving, Mimic thought it would be a good chance to get in some private conversation with her.

When the two were a fair distance away from Tex's house, Mimic began to speak. "We both know what the situation is, don't we?"

Tamara nodded silently.

"Neither of us is going to give him up that easily." Mimic glanced over at Tamara reproachfully. "Even if he was mine long before you even knew each other."

"That doesn't mean you two were meant to be," Tamara snarled.

"Well, how about a match between the two of us? And the victor will win Tex."

Tamara looked up at Mimic sharply. "What sort of a ‘match'?" she asked cautiously.

"A battle of unicorn magic, of course, seeing that you're a unicorn as well," Mimic giggled. "How about it? Are you up to it?"

"Well... what exactly would this match involve?" Tamara stalled.

"We'll both use our magic to its fullest extent for as long as we're able," Mimic said matter-of-factly. "Whoever holds out the longest is the winner."

"Like... winking?"

"Obviously," Mimic rolled her eyes. "Winking and our own unicorn power, of course."

"Oh, umm..." Tamara stared down at the ground as she walked ahead slowly.

"What? You're not afraid to lose, are you?" Mimic taunted.

"Of course I'm not afraid to lose," Tamara snapped.

"Then you'll agree to it?" Mimic queried. "A battle between ourselves?"


"If not, I'll just win Tex by default," Mimic said calmly.

Sparks flew in Tamara's eyes. "Alright, I'll do it! When and where?"

"The park, this afternoon at three o' clock," Mimic said promptly, as if she had already put serious consideration into planning the affair.

"I'll be there," Tamara said simply before trotting ahead and leaving Mimic behind on the path.

"She'll be there! But will she win?" Mimic laughed to herself.

* * *

"You both know why you're here, don't you?" Tamara paced impatiently across the floor of her living room.

"No, not really," Tabby sighed, tapping her hoof on the floor.

"Hmm? What was that?" Tiffany distractedly inspected her hoof and wiped an invisible speck of dirt off.

"Okay, here's the story," Tamara said in a rush. "Mimic has proposed a battle of unicorn magic between us to determine who wins Tex at three o' clock this afternoon."

"I'm not getting any more involved in this, am I?" Tabby wailed.

"A battle of unicorn magic?" Tiffany wrinkled her nose. "You poor unicorns; you don't know what you're missing not being pegasi."

"And I'm dreadfully out of practice at using any of my magic," Tamara continued. "And, well, I thought I'd get you two over here to help me out."

"You want us to instruct you on magic?" Tabby queried. "Why didn't you say so in the first place?"

"Unicorn magic. That's elementary level stuff," Tiffany sniffed. "And so far below us pegasi."

"It's easy enough to wink, Tammy. You don't need help on that," Tabby went on.

"Well..." Tamara said slowly. "It's not easy when you haven't used any of your powers since you were eight years old."

"Since you were eight?" Tabby gasped. "You haven't used any magic since you were eight?"

"It's really a pity that Toby isn't a pegasus," Tiffany sighed.

"Not... not since that incident with winking into the boy's bathroom accidentally," Tamara confessed.

"Oh?" Tabby cocked an eyebrow. "You never told me about that one."

"But the point is, I'm really out of practice," Tamara said.

"What about your special power? You still use that, don't you?" Tabby prodded.

"Eh... um..." Tamara stared down at the floor.

"What is your unicorn magic, anyway? I can't seem to remember..."

"That... that's really because... I never found out myself," Tamara admitted.

Tabby shook her head. "Tsk, tsk. If you're going to be battling with magic, you're doomed, Tammy."

"But she mustn't give up!" Tiffany declared. "Not with the friendship of a handsome stallion at stake."

"Can't you guys help me get warmed up for it?" Tamara pleaded.

"First we'll see how well you can do winking yet," Tabby instructed. "Just wink over to the other side of the room, alright?"

"I'll... I'll try." Tamara turned and stared at the opposite wall. She turned sheepishly back to Tabby and Tiffany. "How do I do it?"

"Oh, for Pete's sake! Just concentrate on winking," Tabby said impatiently.

"And Tex," Tiffany added.

This time Tamara closed her eyes and thought intently. Her pink horn began to glow... only faintly at first, but it steadily grew in brightness. Tabby and Tiffany watched in interest. And suddenly, Tamara disappeared and rematerialized in a flash of sparkling light behind the couch.

Tabby and Tiffany turned around to look at her. "Hmm," Tabby said thoughtfully. "You didn't get to the other side of the room, but it's better than nothing."

"I want to find out what your unicorn magic is," Tiffany complained. "Concentrate on that instead of winking."

"Wait!" Tamara silenced them. "Let me try again." She went through the same procedure, but this time ended-up on the opposite side of the room, as originally instructed. "Look! I did it!" she squealed.

"Oooh," Tabby cheered insincerely. Tiffany clapped her hooves slightly-- very slightly.

This was followed by Tamara winking to other points within the house and finally reappearing back in the living room. "Wow! It's all coming back to me!" she gasped.

"Good. Now for your unicorn magic," Tabby said.

"How do I figure out what that is?" Tamara fretted.

"Well, you two are identical in looks; maybe your power is the same, too," Tiffany suggested.

"We are not identical!" Tamara said indignantly.

"I have the better eye color," Tabby agreed.

"Grr..." Tamara glanced at her cousin.

"I suppose it's possible to have my same power," Tabby reflected, swiftly changing her shape into a delicate Siamese cat.

"But how do I find it?" Tamara wailed.

"Hee hee! And now I'm a guinea pig!" Tabby transformed again, and scurried under the couch.

Tamara looked disdainfully at the rodent-like creature that was her cousin. "Get out from under there, Tabby."

"Eeew! It's a disgusting rodent!" Tiffany shrieked. "Turn into something else, Tabby!"

The next thing they knew, Tabby was an elegant peacock perched on the back of the couch. "C'mon, Tammy. It's easy enough to find out your power. Just think deep thoughts."

"That's easy for you to say," Tamara muttered.

"Now, here's one I never thought of before..." Tabby the peacock changed into Tabby the Furby-- a lovely pink Furby with a red mane. She floated over onto Tamara's back. "Hee hee! Party, wah!"

"Tabby, get off my back," Tamara said through clenched jaws. Tabby was taking this all too lightly... she'd show her... she'd show her... Tamara tried to think the prescribed deep thoughts.

All of a sudden, Tabby the Furby was plunged down onto the ground as her support suddenly disappeared. Wait, no, her support had just grown smaller. Tamara was now a mouse.

"Hmm," Tabby said critically, changing back into her natural unicorn self, "fascinating." She stared down intently at Tamara the mouse.

"Oh no! Not another rodent!" Tiffany squealed.

"I guess you've found your magic power, Tammy," Tabby commented. "You can turn yourself into a mouse. That'll come in handy, I'm sure."

The tiny gray figure on the floor glared up at her cousin. And suddenly, Tamara became a menacingly black panther.

"You look just like my Theodora, all grown up," Tiffany cooed, stroking the panther's fur.

"Watch out. She bites," Tabby cautioned.

"If you keep it up like that, I will," Tamara growled.

"Aww, come on. If it hadn't been for us, you wouldn't have gotten this far."

"Well... well... Tabby, do you know what?!" Tamara gasped, regained her natural form. "You two, I found my magic power!!" she exclaimed, as if just realizing it.

"Congratulations. Now you can change into any living thing, just like me," Tabby yawned.

"It's more convenient to have wings," Tiffany argued.

"I have magic! I have magic!" Tamara shrieked excitedly, twirling around the room. "I have magic!"

"Yeah, but if you're going to beat Mimic, you'll have to perfect it," Tabby warned. "Mimic is good. I should know."

"Well, then, what're we waiting for? Watch me! Watch me!"

* * *

When three o' clock rolled around, Tamara was confident that she had mastered every aspect of her unicorn magic in the few hours she had been able to practice. She smugly walked up to Mimic when she arrived at the park. Tex is as good as mine, she thought gleefully to herself.

Tabby and Tiffany had decided to tag along, too. They seated themselves on a park bench. "Let's get this going, guys!" Tabby called. "I didn't pay for this seat for nothing."

"Actually," Tiffany corrected, "we didn't--"

"So, you showed up, eh, Tamara?" Mimic smirked. "Let's do like Tabby says and get started."

"And we're just going to use our unicorn magic to the best of our abilities, and see who holds out the longest?" Tamara clarified.

"That's what I said before, isn't it?" Mimic said flippantly. "And whoever wins the match wins Tex."

"Tammy, going through all this is pathetic just to get a guy," Tabby commented.

"That's what you think!" Tamara snapped back.

"It's time to begin, Tamara," Mimic reminded.

"Right." Tamara took a deep breath. "I'm ready."

"Then... let's GO!"

"Tamara, teleport attack, now!" Tabby shouted from the sidelines.

"Huh?" Tamara glanced back momentarily, but decided not to listen to her cousin. Mimic had already winked away, and Tamara followed suit.

You know, this is kinda fun, Tamara reflected as she kept materializing at different points throughout the park. And not too hard, either.

"There is just nothing like watching two unicorns wink around a park, is there, Tiffany?" Tabby said to the princess.

"I've never been so bored in my life," Tiffany sighed.

"That's exactly what I was thinking," Tabby agreed.

At one point, Mimic and Tamara both ended up face-to-face at the riverbank. "Worn out yet?" Tamara said tauntingly.

"Worn out? Never!" Mimic declared. "I'm just warming up. Besides, enough of this winking. It's too tame. Let's get on to our other unicorn magic."

"Fine with me," Tamara said recklessly.

In a flash of light, Mimic had suddenly became a large cactus plant. Tamara retaliated by changing into a terrifying hawk. (Whereas Tamara was limited into changing her form into only living creatures, Mimic could turn into anything, sentient and non-sentient.)

This was followed by Mimic turning into a large lion, and Tamara an elegant deer. And then a larger-than-life chili pepper and a raccoon. And then a tiny worm and a nauseatingly-cute kitten with enormous eyes.

"Can we speed this thing up, guys?" Tabby called out.

"Yes, please," Tiffany nodded. "I have to meet Toby in an hour."

Tamara found that not having used her powers for nearly twenty years was actually to her advantage. Massive stores of energy had stored up since then, and her power seemed unlimited. But still, Mimic was a tough opponent.

Anyway, the battle raged on. Mimic's and Tamara's transformations kept getting more and more elaborate as they tried to outdo each other at originality. It was at the point that Tamara was a surprisingly large kiwi bird and Mimic an extremely grotesque china cabinet when things got interesting for the bystanders-- meaning Tiffany and Tabby.

Mimic tried to change. And couldn't.

Upon realizing this, Tamara was thrilled. She changed back to herself and looked on at Mimic, eager to see what the lime green unicorn would do upon admitting defeat.

It was at that moment that Tex, quite unaware of what Mimic and Tamara were doing, happened to stroll through the park. "Tamara? And... what's that?" He looked out over the battle stage, and paused by the bench where Tiffany and Tabby were seated. "What's going on here?"

"Quiet!" Tiffany whispered harshly.

"We're at the grand finale," Tabby explained. "Don't interrupt."

The tie-dyed china cabinet that Mimic was kept flickering in and out of view as she attempted to make one more transformation. With a moan of defeat, the cabinet was turned back into the green unicorn and Mimic slumped down on the ground, completely out of energy.

"That's... that's Mimic!" Tex stuttered. "How... what... Mimic!" He dashed over to her lifeless form and knelt down. "Mimic! Mimic! Are you alright?"

Tamara looked at Tex in surprise. "Tex! What are you doing here?"

Tex ignored Tamara for the time being as he propped Mimic up into a seated position. "Mimic! Say something!" he begged anxiously.

"Tex? She's going to be okay, isn't she?" Tamara looked at Mimic in concern. Sure, she wanted Tex; but she didn't really want any serious harm to come to her opponent, either.

Mimic's eyelids fluttered. "It's... over," she croaked out. "I lost... and now there's only... Tamara."

"Don't say that, Mimic!" Tex pleaded.

"But it's... true," Mimic said falteringly.

"No! I have a confession to make now. To both of you," Tex said solemnly.

"Both of us?" Tamara stuttered. "Me, too?"

"I don't know exactly what went on here today," Tex started. "But, Mimic, I didn't really realize what you meant to me until I saw you, collapsed and out of energy, just now. Mimic, I... I love you. More than I ever have anyone else."

"You... you mean it?" Mimic said weakly.

Tamara's expression was on of pure shock, horror, and disgust all rolled into one. "But... but...!"

"Keep that look on your face, Tammy!" Tabby called out. "I always want to remember you like that."

"It's so romantic!" Tiffany sobbed. "I'm so glad I was here today!"

"Yes, Tamara." Tex looked up at the pink unicorn. "I know we were really close, but... nobody means more to me like Mimic does."

"Thank you... Tex," Mimic said softly.

Tamara's face clouded over, and a new look of pure rage appeared on it. "Do you mean to say, Tex," she hissed, "that I went through all the trouble of relearning my unicorn magic for nothing?"

"Tamara, you'll always be special to me, but..."

"And the trouble of ordering that new cash register for you? And all the trouble of concealing my distaste of salsa? And putting up a good show around Emilio?" Tamara said, quite threateningly. "Do you know what I went through for you, Tex?"

"Tamara, please--"

"Well, let me tell you something, mister!" Tamara raged. "Your salsa never was that good, and I don't mind saying so now. It's the worst concoction in the world that I've ever tasted and I haven't a clue how you stay in business with it."


"And since you're so ungrateful to me, I don't care a bit to be rid of you in my life," Tamara said venomously. "If that's all the thanks I get... well, goodbye, and good riddance! I'm glad I won't have to put up with you anymore!" And with that said, Tamara turned sharply on her heel and marched off defiantly.

"Tam--" Tex began again, but saw that she was already gone.

"What a good show," Tiffany sniffled, wiping a tear from her eye. "I must see it again."

"Oh, Mimic, and thanks for getting Tex off my family tree," Tabby added. "I guess you were able to come through for me on something." Then Tamara's two friends got up and chased after the distressed unicorn, leaving Mimic and Tex alone at the park.

* * *

It was much later that evening when Tamara was beginning to calm down over Tex being "such an inconsiderate jerk" and how she was almost sorry for Mimic for getting stuck with "that lowlife worm".

Tiffany had since left for her date with Toby, but Tabby remained on at Tamara's house. She had never had the opportunity before to rant with such depth over Tex with someone else. It was rather an enlightening experience.

"Okay, okay, I'm calm," Tamara finally sighed, pausing in her brisk pace.

"Besides, with Tex out of the way, you can devote your time to finding another stallion," Tabby pointed out.

Tamara's eyes lit up. "Tabitha, you're right! Oh, that will be so much... fun! Now, let's see, I wonder who..."

"Just be sure he operates something better than a salsa shop," Tabby smirked. "Or Mom might not approve of him."

"Maybe I should have just dumped Tex back when Butch had his eye on me," Tamara laughed. "It would have avoided all this bother."

"Butch would have gotten you into more bothersome situations," Tabby theorized.

"What's he up to now, besides seeing Sparkler?"

"Oh, didn't I tell you? He's the one Mom hired to work on fixing up the old mansion."

"Really? Aunt Agatha really has plans for the place? Do you think she'd consider selling it?"

"She's saving it for me," Tabby said promptly. "Besides, you did just move into this house of your own, didn't you?"

"But if I make this whole house into a cat-complex," Tamara plotted, "I'd still need a--"

"It's not in your future, Tamara," Tabby said possessively.

"Knowing Aunt Agatha, it won't be in your future, either, until you get married," Tamara pointed out.

"True," Tabby consented.

"Oh, Tabby, aren't any of us ever going to get married?" Tamara sighed suddenly. "It's gotten so repetitious, simply going to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe or the Estate Manor every night for the past year."

"Things will change soon," Tabby predicted. "Vanguard will propose to Sugarberry soon enough. And Toby will get around to Tiffany, as well. And you'll find someone who's dashing and romantic that knows not to wait too long before getting you a diamond ring, lest you get impatient."

"What about you and Thomas?" Tamara prodded.

"Oh, Tamara! You know I can't predict things like that without having a Furby handy."

"You just did predictions for all the rest of us without the aid of a Furby," Tamara pointed out.

"There is only one thing I can say for sure," Tabby spoke up suddenly and somewhat mysteriously. "And that is the fact that soon everything will change. The foundation of the world we know now will collapse, and we shall start a new era. We shall make new acquaintances, and lose old ones. We shall find new places in life, and leave behind the old ones. And we'll... we'll..."

Tamara was nearly to the point of believing that Tabby really was seeing into the future until her cousin broke into a fit of hysterical laughter. "Oh, wasn't that just grandly dramatic, Tamara? I simply adore coming up with dramatic things like that."

"Uh... yeah," Tamara said slowly. "Well, I think we've ranted enough. You'd better be heading home for the night."

"Wonderful idea!" Tabby promptly jumped up from her seat. "I've still got to call Spike tonight and plot with him over something."

"Goodbye then, and see you tomorrow," Tamara said, closing the door behind her cousin. She watched the lavender-eyed unicorn disappear into the darkness. There was just something about that pony that was mysteriously unexplainable.

Tamara turned away from the door and pushed all thoughts of that nature from her mind. She had matters of her own to attend to. Now, what were her choices out of the eligible stallions in town...

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